IX SEARCH OF AN ARTIST 117 and highly stylized techniques (his early work had strong affinities with Van Gogh) but the perennial source of his inspiration is the folk art of Bengal, which is strong and gay and masculine. He is an interesting person. Finding himself stifled by the deadly atmosphere of commercial Calcutta, he cut short a career which had every promise of success and fled to a remote village? where he proceeded to remodel his life, and his art, anew. This is how he set about it : "The first thing he did was to change his palette* He left the European colours he had been employing for those that are found in nature and are used by the villagers. For the yellow ochre he adopted the holy mat i and for bright yellow, haritaL The Indian red he obtained from gen mail, blue from indigo, white from kak khori and white clay, black from burnt coconut shells and soot at the bottom of cooking vessels.'1 In any other country Roy's art would have attracted numerous disciples. He would have founded a "school.5 That he has not done so in India is presumably due to the fact that he is completely free from either religious or political prejudices ; there is nothing in his painting to tell you whether he is a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian ; he simply looks life in the face and paints it. That is something which is quite beyond the comprehension of his con- temporaries, to whom art must always be the handmaiden of politics which, in its turn, is the handmaiden of religion. There was only one other "art centre' of any importance in India which I might have visited. It was called Shantiniketan, and this chapter would not be complete without a word about it. Shantiniketan means 'The Abode of Peace/ and it lies high up in the hills near Darjeeling. It was founded some forty years ago by Rabmdranath Tagore, who had an idea of turning it into a university. The university never materialized, but his brother, Abanindranath Tagore, developed it as an art school., and such it is to-day. It has a great reputation throughout India. So, for that matter, has anything even vaguely connected with Rabindranath Tagore. Of course, if you are among those who think that Tagore was one Prefaces, by ShaMd SnBrawardy, Professor of Fine Arts at Calcutta University.